There are two key reasons why State Sen. John Morse should be recalled and why I am supporting this effort.
First, Sen. Morse ran for office pledging to focus on jobs and the economy but, when New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” (MAIG) started pouring money into Colorado, he instead shifted his focus to strict gun control. In previous years, Sen. Morse sponsored bills that were bipartisan and moderate. He even sponsored a bill in 2007 (SB07-34) that guaranteed reciprocity for holders of Concealed Carry Permits from other states. But when Sen. Morse returned to Denver in 2013, he was the prime sponsor of “The Assault Weapon Responsibility Act” – so far reaching that his own Democrat caucus wouldn’t support it.
Another overreaching bill supported by Sen. Morse limits the magazine size that law-abiding citizens can use. Hardened criminals won’t abide by this new law. Moreover, women – statistically smaller than their assailants – have the right to all the ammunition they might need to stop their attacker. Sen. Morse and his caucus do not have the right to make that self-defense decision for me and countless other women.
Still other gun bills supported by Sen. Morse have caused manufacturers to leave Colorado. Is that a focus on jobs and the economy?
Second, when these bills made their way through the Senate, Senate President Morse ran seven very controversial bills through two committees in one day. The common practice with controversial bills is to have one bill in one committee, giving citizens on both sides the opportunity to be heard. Thousands of people who came to testify against gun control bills were denied that right. Some drove four hours to have their voices heard. Yet each committee only allowed 90 minutes of testimony for each side. The right to address elected officials was denied.
Further, on March 11, when Sen. Morse was on a national news show, he shared his advice to his senators regarding the constituent emails on the gun-control bills: “We just have to stay away from some of this toxicity” and “Don’t read any more of these than you absolutely have to.” Government officials are not above the citizens. We are equals. It is their job to listen to us.
Due to Morse’s actions, a grass-roots group of citizens decided to do a recall. Recalls are usually David vs. Goliath efforts, but just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Sen. Morse’s response was to send robocalls scaring citizens into not opening their doors for petition gatherers. While Sen. Morse’s committee received 80 percent ($20,000) of its donations from an organization with close ties to Michael Bloomberg, he labels the recall effort as “funded by out of state interests.” This is not true, but it doesn’t keep Sen. Morse from saying it.
The citizens of Senate District 11 deserve someone who will represent their interests in Denver, not someone who turns a deaf ear when they tell him he doesn’t know what’s best for them.
Laura Carno is founder of I Am Created Equal. This op-ed originally appeared in the Colorado Springs Gazette.